WM must apply to the IRS for its election for organizing and reporting as a REIT. To do this WM must meet several provisions, most of which, including minimum ownership and diversification of ownership will be met under its current status. Its the sourcing of income that I imagine will be hard for it to meet, as §856(C)(3) specifies that no less than 75% of income must come from RE operations (rents, gain on sale of RE, RE loan interest, etc). In the next paragraph, the code goes on to say that the total of REIT assets at the end of each quarter, not less than 75% of REIT assets must be held in RE or assets secured by the RE or cash/cash equivalents. Up to 25% of the value of REIT assets may be a taxable REIT subsidiary, but this subsidiary must provide services only to the REIT.But there must be some creative interpretations going on in what constitutes 'rents', as AMT (owner of cell towers and other antennas) now operates as a REIT..."leasing antenna space on multi-tenant communications sites to wireless service providers, radio and television broadcast companies, wireless data providers, government agencies and municipalities, and tenants in various other industries" This strikes me as a kind of creative use of the word 'tenents'.So I wonder how this would work? I'd imagine WM would likely have to spin off its landfill sites, 'leasing', I suppose, its space over its land to refuse collectors to fill up with garbage. Or it could work as a mineral depletion in reverse. But if the 'renter' didn't pay their tipping fee, would they have to come and retrieve their drop volume to 'free up' more air space to WM? And if they didn't, would WM haul it back to them?Clearly, the incentive is there for WM and others who could conceivably get REIT status, as WM's trailing 12 months income tax bill was about $1/diluted share while it shows a diluted $1.85 EPS over the same period.BruceM
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